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Asthma

Asthma, a chronic, common condition characterized by symptoms of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightening, and cough, is an inflammatory disorder that causes airway hyperresponsiveness and airflow obstruction.1

Uncontrolled asthma can have a profound, negative effect on a patient’s quality of life. Despite current interventions and substantial healthcare investment, approximately 250,000 people worldwide die each year from asthma; almost all these deaths being avoidable.1

Allergen sensitization is a critical component to assess when diagnosing asthma. Up to 80% of patients with allergies are sensitized to more than one allergen.2 Exposure to allergens can cause airway inflammation and increase the risk for an exacerbation.3 Guidelines suggest identifying factors that can instigate asthma, including allergens, when evaluating a patient.3 Assessing a patient’s symptom threshold by testing IgE and identifying relevant sensitizing allergens can help clinicians make the most accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.3

The identification of allergens is important not only to the diagnosis and management of asthma but to other conditions and diseases as well.

Asthma affects approximately  300 million people in the world,and is estimated to affect 400 million people by 2025.1

asthma stat

The impact of allergy on asthma is staggering:

Foods

Children with asthma and concomitant food allergy have a seven times higher risk for life-threatening asthma exacerbations4,5
 

Hospitalized

Patients with asthma, allergen, exposure, and viral infection face a nearly 20-fold increased risk for hospitalization compared to patients with allergies alone6

Peanut

Patients with asthma plus an allergy to peanuts or tree nuts are at an increased risk for fatal anaphylaxis7

 

References
 
  1. Pawankar R, Holgate ST, Canonica GW, et al. World Allergy Organization (WAO) White Book on Allergy. 2013. World Allergy Organization Website. Available at http://www.worldallergy.org/UserFiles/file/WhiteBook2-2013-v8.pdf. Accessed November 2017. 
  2. Ciprandi G, Alesina R, Ariano R, et al. Characteristics of patients with allergic polysensitization: the POLISMAIL study. Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008;40(3):77-83
  3. US Department of Health and Human Services. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Asthma Education and Prevention Program. Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma. 2007.  https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/guidelines/asthgdln.pdf. Accessed November 2017. 
  4. Roberts G, Patel N, Levi-Schaffer F, et al. Food allergy as a risk factor for life-threatening asthma in childhood: a case-controlled study. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003;112:168-174.
  5. Liu AH, Jarmillo R, Sicherer S, et al. National prevalence and risk factors for food allergy and relationship to asthma: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010;126:798-806 e13. 
  6. Murray CS, Poletti G. Kebadze T, et al. Study of modifiable risk factors for asthma exacerbations: virus infection and allergen exposure increase the risk of asthma hospital admissions in children. Thorax. 2006;61:376-382.
  7. Lomas JM, Järvinen KM. Managing nut-induced anaphylaxis: challenges and solutions. J Asthma. 2015;8:115-123.